Wednesday, November 15, 2017

One Hundred and Fifty Two

I wasn’t going to write anything again. I was going to lie down, go to sleep and never wake up. Then Don called and asked me to come back to work. 

Last month I wrote that Don thought he was doing me a favor, so it would have been rude of me to refuse. But that’s not why I came back.

I tried to kill myself after she died, and was preparing to try again when Don called and offered me a job. And then the next time I was preparing to die, he called again. I know it’s only a coincidence, but it’s uncanny.

The company is dying, so it’s a comfortable place for someone like me to be. Almost everyone I worked with eight years ago is gone now, and the few who remain know it has no future, so it’s quiet as a funeral. The only sounds are when Bob or I tell each other a joke, and we both chuckle.

I think Bob wants to be my friend. It’s not that he wants to be my friend specifically. He’s just lonely, and wants a friend.

I think Mark wants to be my friend, too. And like Bob, he’s just lonely and anyone will do.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

One Hundred and Fifty One

Everyone wants to know the truth, and no one wants to know the truth. This is a paradox to those who imagine they must want one or the other, but not both. It’s always both.

Whatever we imagine the truth to be, it’s always different. Sometimes it’s better than what we imagine, and sometimes worse; but it’s never what we want because we don’t know ourselves well enough to know what we want.

What people want most, and fear most, is to know the truth. Knowing they're not what they imagine themselves to be, they decide it’s better not to know the truth.

Friday, November 3, 2017

One Hundred and Fifty

Everyone wants to live, and everyone wants to die. This is a paradox to those who imagine they must want one or the other, but not both. It’s always both.

Everyone wants a good death, one that completes a good life. But most people live meaningless lives that aren’t completed, but merely ended, by equally meaningless deaths.    

Everyone wants to live not because their lives are good, but because they’re meaningless. They know life is change, so they hope their lives will change for the better. But as they grow old, they lose hope.

Some then kill themselves, but most don’t. They choose not to kill themselves – which is not the same as choosing to live - because they no longer care whether they live or die.  

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

One Hundred and Forty Nine

I seldom remember my dreams now. I know they’re not good only because I always wake feeling depressed. This morning I remembered why.

Last night I dreamed I was back in school. It was graduation day, and all the other students were celebrating. 

Everyone was dancing except me. I made my way between the dancers, walking slowly towards the door of the principal’s office. I had a question to ask her, but I was sure I already knew the answer,

She told me my degree was worthless. I already knew that, so hearing it confirmed didn’t surprise me. But it did fill me with pity for my fellow students, who were celebrating because they didn’t yet know what I had always known.

The immediate cause of this dream was a television program I watched last night. It was about the privatization of the public schools. 

It featured a young woman who was a waitress in a fast food restaurant. She said she’d paid her way through a privatized school by waiting tables, only to learn on graduation day that the school wasn’t accredited, so her degree was worthless.

I remembered wondering how she could not have known this. Didn’t she investigate the school before applying?       

Then I remembered thinking it didn't matter because all schools are worthless. 

I attended what was considered a good school (although the teachers complained to me that it wasn’t what it used to be; the destruction of the schools - of everything we used to call civilisation - has been going on for a long time), but no school prepares us for life; not the life I should have lived, the life we all should live. 

Teachers prepare us to live in this society by teaching us to forget what every child knows, and believe - or rather suspend our disbelief - in its myths.They do this not out of malice or jealousy, because they want us to fail as they did, but because it's an unjust society, and without illusions living in it would be unbearable.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

One Hundred and Forty Eight

Winter is coming. There was ice on the windshield this morning. Soon snow will fall, and someone will say that proves global warming is a hoax. It’s how we deal with emergencies.

When an emergency strikes, people usually help its victims restore things to what they consider normal. But when emergencies become the norm, people look after themselves and try not to see anyone else.

They tell themselves the emergency is only temporary, not the norm, just as they tell themselves war is only temporary and peace is the norm.

Emergency is the norm for most people most of the time, but they try not to see it, and tell themselves that winter snow proves global warming is a hoax.

Friday, October 27, 2017

One Hundred and Forty Seven

Philosophers have always sought to understand the world. The point, said Marx, is to change it. But each time we try to change it, the results aren’t what we expected. That’s one of the reasons why we imagined the world is a being like us, alive as we are, with a mind and a will of its own. But it’s more powerful than we are, so instead of opposing it we tried to tame this being as we tame wild animals and make them serve us, as our masters tame us and make us serve them. We flatter it, and pretend we love it, until we persuade ourselves not only that it’s true, but it loves us in return.

To change the world, we must know the world; and to know the world is to know it's not a being like us, alive as we are; and we don't know it well enough to know what the results will be if we try to change it.

It’s changing all the time, of course; but in accordance with its own laws, not ours. 

It’s alive, of course, but not as we are. It’s a body of which we're the cells. Tat tvam asi, but what does a body know of its cells, and what do cells know of their body?

We are more than we seem, parts of something greater than ourselves; but I can no longer take comfort in knowing that because we’re destroying the world, and therefore ourselves.       

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

One Hundred and Forty Six

Now I have a job again, and money coming in. Not enough to live comfortably, but enough to hope that I may save some money if no emergency arises. But it's a false hope, as hope always is. Emergencies always arise.

Don thought he was doing me a favor when he asked me to come back to work, so it would have been rude of me to refuse. But I knew it was a mistake. I was more dead than alive, and rousing myself from the grave has been exhausting.

Learning Goldmine has been interesting. Too interesting. Learning new things only distracts me from facing, and accepting, things I’ve always known.

Don still says I can save the company, but no one can do that. I realized that eight years ago. I’ve always known people want to be saved, but only on their own terms. Don wouldn’t listen to my business plan eight years ago. He now admits I was right, but it’s too late. There’s nothing I can do now

Each day I sit at my desk and think about standing up and walking out. I‘m not the captain of this sinking ship.